“It is liberating once you let go of the things that you can’t control.”
― Mark Owen
Last month I was in Dallas, Texas for a gig. The company I was working for invited us out one night to a private company dinner party. They told us there was going to be a guest speaker after dinner. Through the grape vine, I heard it was going to be a high ranking Navy Seal. I was skeptical, but always down for free BBQ. After dinner, we were told to turn our phones off because the speaker we were about to see can’t have his picture taken or reveal his real name. As it turned out, he was one of the Seals in the room when Osama Bin laden got shot. When he walked in the room, everyone rose and clapped… except me. I had such a shield up about how this talk was going to go tonight. It had nothing to do with me thinking Binladen wasn’t bad. It had to do with being against war and killing, along with my trips overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan back in 2008 and 2010 as a performer that opened my eyes on the issue.
A seemingly humble man walked into the front of the room, and I immediately knew this was no ordinary ‘military’ guy. What he spoke about had nothing to do with how cool or great he was at killing or war, it was all about mastering life by mastering your mind. I related to everything he said in an unexpectedly ‘spiritual’ way. The key components he talked about seemed just as deep as Eckhart Tolle.
Here was my favorite moment he shared:
3 Foot World– While the Seal was rock climbing a couple of hundred feet up a mountain side in Las Vegas, he ran out of hand holds and was stuck half way up the rock. As the Seal was panicking, and looking around frantically, the instructor yelled “just stay in your three-foot world!” Then he began to free climb while smoking a cigarette and met the Seal halfway up the mountain. “Hey man, focus on your three-foot world, focus on what you can affect. You keep looking around and none of that shit can help you right now, can it?” “So look at what’s in front you and climb.” Refocusing his efforts, the Seal kept climbing. Now, his focus never went further then where his next hand or foot hold was. He was so focused that it shocked him when he suddenly reached the top and could admire the beauty of the desert.
Can’t we all relate to this? Everyone almost everyday is trying to control things they can’t control. It creates fear and panic inside us. If we just remain present in the moment, stay in our “three-foot world”, and focus on whats RIGHT in front of us, everything can be smooth. You might find yourself more capable then you realize if you fully focus. So do what you have with what’s in front of you; your three-foot world!
As he wrapped up his presentation, he mentioned he’s written two books, and we each received his second book “No Hero“. I found it so engrossing I finished half of it on my flight back from Texas to LA. He talks more about communication skills, teamwork, and being comfortable in the uncomfortable. I loved every minute of this book!